Tuesday, January 18, 2011
To celebrate the holiday season in 2010, VVBOOM took the festivities indoors to the Visitacion Valley Community Center (VVCC) where families gathered for live music from homegrown musicians, local small business promotion, interactive arts and crafts activities, delectable baked goodies to eat and an unforgettable photo session that transformed the 50 Raymond site into a dynamic photography studio. In the spirit of the holidays, we got a lot of help from our friends and family. This collaborative effort, including Joey Chandler & Help Portrait, Real Options for City Kids (ROCK), the Boys and Girls Club and the VVCC, resulted in a wonderful Saturday afternoon in early December where 100 families walked away with high quality family portraits, local small business coupons, holiday wreaths and t-shirts.
With the help of 75 talented volunteer photographers, videographers and make up artists from throughout the city, over 250 neighbors were able to be photographed professionally and take home two 5'' x 7'' glossy prints to display proudly. The photography session was part of a world-wide 'Help Portrait' day and reinforced how incredibly powerful and transformative a simple photograph can be. Participants got the celebrity treatment (if they so desired), as professional make up artists worked their magic on families before getting in front of the bright lights and camera lenses. After the photo session, participants were able to view all their pictures on laptops before deciding which ones they wanted to take home. Favorite photos were sent to print down the hallway and families left with glossy, high quality family prints to take with them.
But new family portraits to hang in the living room weren't the only gifts attendees walked away with. 75 attendees also left with a Visitacion Valley small business promotion bags (courtesy of the San Francisco Department of the Environment) which included discounts at 10 stores offering fantastic unique deals from $5.00 off childrens hair cuts (JB's The Shop-160A Leland Ave.) to 20% off all fish and supplies with the purchase of a tank set (Dragon City Aquarium, 144-Leland Ave.). The advertising was just in time for the holiday shopping rush, prompting many to spend locally.
For those looking to put their own creative touch on holiday gifts, there were multiple arts and crafts activities where participants took home decorated wreaths and personalized t-shirts. Our showcase wasn't lacking in entertainment either. Not with the increasingly popular Visitacion Valley Ukulele Club, a stellar karate demonstration by ROCK and a performance by a talented group of local Cantonese musicians. However, nobody captured the mood quite like the Fog City Jazz ensemble, who played an extended set of holiday favorites that embodied the warm neighborhood event. The organizers and sponsors would like to thank everyone who dedicated their time and talent to make the 2010 Winter Showcase a smashing success.
For the 4th year in a row, Leland Avenue got lit up in early December. In an effort to spread holiday cheer, unify and bring increased attention to storefronts up and down Leland Avenue, VVBOOM partnered with ROCK to decorate downtown Visitacion Valley and bridge the gap between local youth and merchants. 8 students from Visitacion Valley Middle School joined VVBOOM to hang colorful holiday light displays at a dozen local small businesses and stripe some of our new street furniture in front of the Hans Schiller Plaza at Peabody Street. After a fun-filled afternoon, participating youth headed to the Taqueria where they were treated to an enormous plate of nachos courtesy of our friends at El Buen Sabor #2 (98 Leland Avenue). The lights and decorations were on display throughout the month of December. Happy New Year!